I WAS NOT BORN A PATRIOT
Even as a kid, we were told to respect our Indian Flag. Our very constitution requires us to be respectful to our flag, anthem and each other as fellow Indians.
Not everybody understands this, though. Not everybody has been to many states and met many people and known many cultures and languages. But I have.
And it's an understanding that is unique to me; that is unique to my personality and my experiences.
I was not born a patriot. My nation made me one.
It wasn't the long speeches I heard on Independence Day or Republic Day. It wasn't the struggles of the Defence Forces I read so keenly about. It wasn't even my family and friends and their immense love for the country that made me love it myself.
In fact, it wasn't even anything special. It was the mere knowledge of how vast and how great my country is. It was my perspective, my inner eye that looked at it in its own fascinating way.
It was the progress it has made in the 72 years of its Independence. We see India as a developing nation, but how many of us took a moment and wondered how many such nations exist, that have created such great minds, such great developments in a matter of 70 years?
Why do we talk about the better conditions of a foreign land when we can see in our vicinity what our own nation has become and how quickly we are progressing?
I love my country and it's not because of my history books or the threatening social norms. It is because it is beautiful and it is unique.
My country has everything I can ever ask for. Sure, we have flaws and faults... I wouldn't say we don't. But instead of looking at the flaws as complaints, let's look at it as an opportunity to better. To make our nation as great as we wish for it to be.
We are not born patriots. But open your mind and heart, and India will make you one.
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